Late Fall Camping


Just got back from a short Boy Scout camping trip.  It was a nice break from the COVID monotony of the last several months. We did most of the usual camping things – hiked, had a fire, ate s’mores, and so on. Since it was a Scout trip, we didn’t have the bottle of wine that my wife and I would normally bring. The photo above was from the hike as sunset was nearing and the light got pretty.

This trip was originally planned as a backpacking trip, but that plan got scrapped due to some scheduling issues with the park, so they threw together this car camping trip as a consolation. My family went ahead and treated like a backpacking trip. I really want my kids to get used to (and enjoy) honest-to-God backpack camping because it’s a lot more fun and rewarding than car camping in my opinion. So we brought no more stuff than we could carry on our backs, we got our water from a stream and filtered it, and we cooked our food on little backing stoves. 

As I’ve been doing for the past couple of years, I slept in a camping hammock. I’ve really come to appreciate how much easier it is on my back and shoulders than sleeping on a thin pad on the ground. With this trip I found the functional limit to how low a temperature is feasible with my hammock and insulation system (Hennessy Explorer and Super Shelter), and my old down sleeping bag. It got down to the low 40s and I was comfortable, but only just. And that was with a wool base layer top, insulated running tights, wool hiking socks, and a beanie cap. There are a couple of set-up optimizations I’ll make going forward to make it a little warmer (lowering the rain fly and ensuring the space blanket under the hammock shields my feet better. But if I want to use a hammock when it’s in the 30s or lower, I’m going to need to upgrade some parts of the system.